The pizza at the Costco food court is one of the more intriguing foodstuffs in America. The huge, slightly saggy slices are loaded with browned cheese and ample toppings, made by hand but quickly cooked in a machine in the Costco kitchen, and for some of us, no trip to Costco is complete without grabbing a slice (Costco is America’s 15th largest pizza chain, after all). For others, however, the pizza is a greasy, soggy abomination that shouldn’t even be allowed to call itself pizza. What’s the deal with this phenomenon?
It all depends on personal taste, obviously. For some, any pizza that isn’t crisp on the bottom, made with San Marzano tomato sauce, and a sprinkling of cheese isn’t worthy of attention. For others, the prospect of a big and filling slice of pizza for $1.99, loaded with a serious amount of cheese and a not-too-sweet sauce that has an herbal, slightly spicy kick is exactly what’s needed after a trip through the big-box store. Yes, the crust has little to nothing in the way of crispiness, but that’s almost beside the point: It tastes good.
Yes, that’s the crux of the matter: Costco’s pizza simply tastes good. As pizza connoisseur Adam Kuban put it, “There was something sort of satisfying about the slices I tried — in a sort of institutional-pizza-yet-better-than-institutional-pizza way. If that makes any sense.”